May is a Month of Milestones

May 2021    Keeping Connected

It is May and what a beautiful time of the year. The grass is green. The flowers are in colorful bloom. I wake each morning to the songs of the birds. My resident groundhog (aptly named Phil) makes many appearances a day. Wildlife is everywhere. It is hard to not just sit and stare as nature takes its course during this time of the year! As I look at the calendar for May, I realize that there will not be a lot of time for sitting and staring as we all begin the end of the school year, with lots of milestones for so many students in our community. I really encourage you all to tune in to as many of the events and programs that you are able to as we finish up the school year this month.

In a beautiful cycle of Jewish life, we have the 3rd graders leading the Friday night Shabbat and celebrating the wonderful accomplishment of having completed their first year of Hebrew with their Siyyum Ha’Sefer celebration, followed the very next week by Confirmation Shabbat, in which a dedicated and spirited group of our 10th graders will stand before the congregation and confirm their connection to Judaism. Two weeks after that will be the Graduation Shabbat in which our 12th grader gets to celebrate his Congregation Shalom journey before heading out to more adventures and experiences. In between all of these celebrations, we will mark the end of the school year for everyone, as students complete this year and begin to look forward to being a grade older next year!

These are all wonderful milestones and celebrations in our community and I really hope that you and your family will make time to join in with the different classes to support and delight in everyone’s accomplishments. See the calendar below and stay tuned to the Weekly Updates for times and links to it all.

As we begin to wrap up the year, thoughts and planning for next year have already begun. Once again, at this juncture, we are unclear as to how Congregation Shalom’s school program will look for next year. I have begun attending conferences, workshops and meetings with lots of different educators from all over the country and the world (thank you Zoom), as we all begin to process the year and think about what the next year will look like. We have engaged in activities in which we share in the joys and delights of this very unusual school year, thinking about what we will bring with us next year, what we will chalk up for a one-time experience and changes and additions to the program for next year. Once again, this summer presents us with a lot of work ahead as we develop the plans for school for next year.

I want to hear from you! What worked well for you and your students this year? What did not work well? What changes would like to see for next year? What would you like to see again? What are your ideas about religious and Hebrew school during a pandemic? Please take some time to share your thoughts, ideas, opinions and your own experiences from this year. These are invaluable in helping to shape the school for next year, in whatever form that may take. Thank you in advance.

I hope to see you at the various Shabbats and celebrations during the merry month of May!


Schedule for May (subject to change)

Sunday, May 2 Sunday Religious School and Sunday Hebrew School
Wednesday, May 5 Wednesday Hebrew School (Gimel, Dalet, Hey)
Confirmation Class
Friday, May 7  3rd Grade Class Shabbat and Siyyum Ha’Sefer – 7pm, all are welcomed
Sunday, May 9 NO SCHOOL – Happy Mother’s Day!
Wednesday, May 12 Wednesday Hebrew School  (Gimel, Dalet, Hey)
Confirmation Class (off site)
Friday, May 14 Confirmation Shabbat, 7pm
Sunday, May 16 Sunday Religious School and Sunday Hebrew School
Wednesday, May 19 Wednesday Hebrew School (Gimel, Dalet, Hey)
Sunday, May 23 Last Day of Sunday School – Parking Lot Event (more information will be coming your way)
Wednesday, May 26 Wednesday Hebrew School (Gimel, Dalet, Hey) – Last Day
Post Confirmation (off site)
Friday, May 28 Graduation Shabbat, 6:30pm